Europe

Elaborate France kidnap heist nets thieves 'millions' from cash van

A car park area, with a barn-like structure in the middle Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The car park where the van was emptied. A police source told the AFP news agency that it was carrying 20-30m Swiss Francs ($21-32m; £15-23m)

Thieves have targeted a cash van delivery driver on the French-Swiss border in an elaborate heist involving the kidnap of his daughter.

They stole up to 30m Swiss francs ($32m; £23m) from the van, reports say.

The driver's 22-year-old daughter had been kidnapped from her apartment in the French city of Lyon on Thursday by two men posing as plumbers.

The driver was headed toward the Swiss city of Lausanne when he received a call demanding a ransom for her.

He was forced off the motorway and directed to a car park near the municipality of Chavornay in Switzerland, where several armed and disguised men were waiting, police said.

"There, several armed men who were awaiting the van made him park it. They then held up the delivery drivers, completely emptied the van's contents and fled in a dark-coloured Porsche SUV," Swiss police were quoted as saying in a statement by the AFP news agency.

The daughter was later found on a road, uninjured, on the outskirts of Lyon shortly before 22:00 (21:00 GMT).

The heist has been compared to an action film plot.

Police have appealed for witnesses as no arrests have been made.

They say the suspects are thought to be three men, dressed all in black, with an accent thought to be from the south of France or North Africa.


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